A sauna is a heated room designed to help you sweat, relax, and unwind in a serene environment.
As your skin temperature rises, you begin to experience heavy sweating, which cools the body. Deep sweating in a sauna helps remove toxins absorbed through the human skin as you interact with the environment.
Your blood vessels also dilate, causing increased blood flow and also raises your heart rate. The high temperature and humid conditions highly benefit people experiencing depression and anxiety. It also treats congestive heart failure, arthritis and helps in muscle recovery.
Here are various situations when to use a sauna.
When to Use a Sauna?
1. Before And After Workouts
Pre-game your workout session by taking a sauna bath just before exercise. It helps warm up your muscles to loosen up, increasing your tolerance level. On the other hand, the sauna will help your muscles relax after intense physical activities.
During a workout, your muscles stretch more than usual, causing some microscopic tears. As a result, they begin to feel sore, and you might experience inflammation, tightness, or cramping after exercising. To strengthen your muscles, your body needs to heal these tears.
When you take a sauna bath, it increases your body temperature resulting in increased blood flow. It thus facilitates the movement of oxygenated blood, enhancing the muscle recovery process.
Besides, the heat results in endorphin production that creates a tranquilizing effect minimizing soreness. It also promotes relaxation, relieves muscle tension, and reduces lactic acid accumulation.
2. If You Want To Lose Weight
The heat increases your heart rate and your body’s metabolism in a similar way to exercising. As the heart activity accelerates, it creates a higher oxygen demand, and your body begins to convert calories into usable energy.
Additionally, the sweating process uses up a considerable amount of energy derived from converting fat to carbohydrates. Consequently, you begin to lose calories.
It’s a great way to keep your weight in control, but you shouldn’t fully replace your workout sessions with sauna baths.
3. When Stressed
It creates a relaxing atmosphere, which helps relieve stress. When you step into a sauna, you cut yourself off from the outside world.
Further, the heat helps reduce the amount of cortisol in your blood, the hormone released when stressed. Rather, it stimulates the production of endorphins, the feel-good hormone that helps you feel relaxed and happier.
Even better, you can spend time with a friend in the sauna, to socialize and unwind. It provides a conducive environment to hold open, intimate, and quiet conversations.
Generally, a sauna provides a pampering retreat to restore your body and soul, so you feel and look better.
4. If You Experience Disturbed Sleep
Sauna use can also result in a deep and more relaxed sleep. When you get out of the sauna, your body begins to cool itself. The lower temperature at bedtime and a slow decline in endorphins trigger deep sleep.
Additionally, when heat penetrates your skin, it soothes your tissues, creating a rejuvenating and refreshed mood. You will thus begin to experience more comfortable sleep.
Therefore, a regular sauna routine is beneficial for anyone who wishes to sleep quickly without using prescription drugs or sleeping aids.
5. When In Pain
The increased blood circulation due to sauna heat helps improve joint movements, reduces soreness, eases arthritis and other joint pains.
Besides, it treats some chronic pains. If you regularly experience high-intensity or chronic tension-type headaches, sauna baths can help reduce such effects.
6. If You Wish To Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Sauna creates similar effects to moderate exercises. It increases heart rates and circulation, which results to lower blood pressure and leads to enhanced function. The heat makes your arteries more responsive to pressure and dilates them for a faster and effective blood flow.
The reduction in stress levels also contributes to better heart health. If you want to lower your cholesterol levels, then visiting a sauna offers some help. It adequately supplements your regular exercise regime lowering cardiovascular disease risks.
7. When You Experience Skin Problems
Heat bathing is a common skin cleansing strategy used from the ancient days. Deep sweating cleanses your body, flushing out all the bacteria found in the skin epidermal layer or sweat ducts.
It also opens up the pores, improves circulation to give your skin a softer texture. The dead cells also get replaced, which leaves your skin in good condition. You may want to use a sauna, also if you experience psoriasis, to reduce the symptoms.
8. Before An Athletic Competition
It helps improve muscle function, which optimizes athletic performance. The hypothermic conditions improve blood flow, sending more blood to the heart.
As a result, it promotes plasma and red blood cells’ production to fuel oxygen throughout the body, enhancing athletic performance.
9. If You Have Compromised Immunity
It can also help you build a stronger immune system. It contributes to an increase in white blood cell volume, boosting your immune strength.
Besides, heat exposure results in the development of heat shock proteins, antigen-presenting cells, and cytokines to stimulate your immune system.
As a result, it reduces the chances of influenza or colds. It also opens up airways and loosens phlegm relieving asthmatic symptoms. Additionally, it suppresses uncomfortable sinus congestions signs, and improves your lung functions.
10. When You Want Better Mental Health
Sauna bathers will experience a boost in their brain function. It helps your blood to move freely, even to your brain cells. Anytime you spend time in these quiet, warm, and enclosed rooms, it eliminates depression, positively affecting your mental health.
Regular sauna use increases the production of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which substantially lowers dementia and Alzheimer risks.
The molecule achieves this by improving neuroplasticity, maintaining the existing brain cells, and activating new ones’ growth.
How Often to Use a Sauna?
Many people who plan to use a sauna either for relaxation or existing health conditions improvement ask this question. The number of times you sit per week and the number and duration of the sauna sessions you undertake will depend on your health and physical fitness.
Experts recommend one to three times a week and taking one session lasting for 20 minutes. You can increase the sessions depending on your physical and health status.
However, you should avoid taking excessive sessions because they can negatively affect your body by causing dehydration and body weakness.
Sauna improves your overall health, performance, and well-being. When to use a sauna? All the above are frequently used occasions.
Regular Sauna bath may also prolong lifespan. It helps lower the risks of early mortality rates by encouraging social interactions, creating relaxing effects, and soothing chronic conditions.
Most times, the benefits seem somewhat unnoticeable, but you will begin to experience some impacts with time.